This Government Approved Learning “Tool” Was Secretly Harvesting Data On Children

(FiveNation.com)- During the British government’s Covid lockdown, an online learning tool offered to schools by the British government gathered the data of students who used it, according to research conducted by the NGO Human Rights Watch.

Edpuzzle, an online learning platform, was discovered to gather data from its users, including keyboard strokes and mouse movements, from kids as young as five years old. Over 1,000 schools used the program, purportedly having four distinct third-party “ad trackers” that captured information on a person’s behavior while accessing the website.

Since then, the firm has confessed that its products, many of which are geared at youngsters, acquired user data but claimed it was only used internally and not sold to third parties. However, some people are concerned that the corporation did not make it obvious enough that it was collecting data with its goods in the first place and that it should now be removed.

Chi Obwurah, a Labour MP, said of the company’s conduct that if the data was obtained without the consent of parents and children, it should be destroyed.

Beeban Kidron, a member of the House of Lords, has urged that the government’s Department for Education stop endorsing such learning goods for schools until “regulatory criteria” have been developed.

Kidron asked if one could imagine the Department of Education endorsing playground equipment that doesn’t meet any safety requirements. “Of course not,” she said. IT corporations taking children’s data in the UK and elsewhere is just the latest indication of how children were harmed during the pandemic.

Many studies and research initiatives have concluded that young children are among the ones who suffer the most during the lockdown, with the most recent study published only last week.

Compared to their pre-COVID contemporaries, the development of youngsters aged four and five was impeded, according to a study published by the Education Endowment Foundation.

In 2021, just 59 percent of children in that age group attained an expected level of competency for abilities linked to communication and language, physical development, reading, numeracy, and personal, social, and emotional development, compared to 72 percent in 2019.

In response to the report, Peter Lampl, the foundation’s chairman, said it is profoundly alarming to witness the pandemic’s wide-ranging repercussions on the development of the youngest children. The early years are crucial for social mobility since this is when disparities in outcomes initially emerge. A deliberate focus on the early years is required if the government fulfills its appropriately ambitious objectives on numeracy and literacy by 2030.